Chris Connor reviews the second episode of Succession’s fourth and final season…
The opening episode of the final season of Succession proved the show had lost none of its bite or dark sense of humour. We saw the Roys pitted against one another again, this time for an acquisition. Episode 2 moves the narrative along surprisingly briskly as alliances are tested and manoeuvres are made.
Several story threads are given more attention in this episode with Logan testing Tom’s loyalty and seemingly endorsing his assistant Kerry’s ambition of becoming a news anchor. Jesse Armstrong once again shows his skill at upending expectations as Logan makes an impromptu visit to the ATN Newsroom, delivering a pep talk.
As in the opening episode, much of the time focuses on the interplay between Shiv, Roman and Kendall, each looking for the best way to out-manoeuvre Logan. Connor, the eldest of the Roy siblings is given more of a moment in the spotlight with much of the action taking place at his Wedding rehearsal and party, appropriately the setting for the most scheming.
This season seems content to take things slow to start off with and allow all the major players a moment in the spotlight with Cousin Greg and Tom taking slightly more of a back seat after sizable roles in the premiere. We see a brief appearance from Alexander Skarsgård’s Lukas Matsson, one of the prime candidates to inherit Waystar Royco in the last season, making his presence felt.
We’re no closer to knowing who if anyone will come out on top in the family feud to end them all but what is clear is that there are many delicious twists and turns to be enjoyed along the way with the show maintaining its winning blend of pitch-black comedy delivered to perfection by its cast and we should expect the unexpected. By the close of this episode, some surprising alliances are taking shape and it is surprising some of the interactions and power plays that have taken place so early on.
The episodes of this final season of Succession feels like an event as we move closer to the endgame. The cast continues to excel with some of the best writing on television and Brian Cox’s Logan as is manipulative and despicable as ever. This episode builds on the work of the season premiere, ultimately showing us that this season will play out how few have predicted, and it is all the more engrossing for its Machiavellian schemes and twists aplenty.
There are a number of chess pieces now in play, but Jesse Armstrong has proven time and time again that he is more than capable of sticking the landing with endings and we are headed for a finale for the ages. You get a sense the show is just getting started with plenty more to come from Kendall, especially who has felt oddly reserved to date. Fans will be eagerly awaiting each new episode as we try and second guess just where this show is headed.